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Why does TFA find teacher diversity to be a critical component of its impact?

While the student population of U.S. public schools has become increasingly diverse in race and ethnicity, the teacher workforce hasn’t kept pace. We work diligently to combat this diversity gap because we believe that a teacher workforce that reflects the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds of the nation’s children is crucial to our vision of educational equity. Our beliefs are supported by a small body of research, which includes a study finding that Latino corps members tend to remain in their original, high-poverty placement school beyond their two-year commitment due to pronounced motivation “to combat the negative experiences they had as K–12 students.”

Given the nation’s demographic trends, more research about the importance of a diverse teacher workforce is needed. We welcome the opportunity to work with researchers on this topic.